Bay Area man describes Asiana plane crash impact, escape

Wendell Hom is a senior software engineer at Synopsys. He'd taken a month off to visit Bali, Thailand, and South Korea. He was ready to come home. He never thought his great adventure would end the way it did.

Hom reiterated what other passengers on board Asiana Flight 214 have already said.

"I saw the water, it was really close," he said. "And I was thinking, wow, it's really close."

A few seconds later, he remembers the impact and what followed.

"I still had my seatbelt on but my body sort of lurched over to across the aisle to the other side of the seat and it was like a real scary rollercoaster ride," Hom said.

Once the plane came to rest, he recalls seeing people around him reaching for their oxygen masks.

"I was just thinking of getting off the plane because you see in the movies, you crash land, and the plane might explode right?" he said.

There was a lot of commotion, people rushing toward the exits. Then it was his turn.

"I turned around and looked at the back, and was like wow, there was a lot of black smoke coming from the other side," Hom said. "I was like, oh my God, time to go, so it was time to go slide down the slide and just get out of the way and go away from the plane."

That's when he took a picture. The plane, at least from his side, was pretty intact. People were running, others were making it down the evacuation slides. The emergency crews had not yet arrived.

"There wasn't really time to be scared or think about anything because it just happened so quickly," he said.

Hom, who is a senior software engineer at a Silicon Valley company, went to work the next day to take his mind off the crash. He's not sure when he'll get back on a plane.

"The next time I ride on a plane, maybe it'll be not anytime soon," he said.

Hom said he didn't post anything on his social network, like others did, because he didn't want his mother to worry.

Copyright © 2024 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.